Info and Archive – Toxic Taters Coalition



Pesticide drift happens when pesticides move through the air from the intended application site to places they shouldn’t be – homes, schools, neighboring farms, playgrounds, bee yards, etc.


Short-term impacts: headaches and nausea to chronic impacts like cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption.  

Acute dangers: such as nerve, skin, and eye irritation and damage, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and systemic poisoning – can sometimes be dramatic, and even fatal.  


Pesticide drift can cause economic, environmental, and human health damage. Farmers are frequently unable to sell crops that have been damaged by drift, especially if the crops were certified organic. Livestock can become ill, and sometimes die, when exposed to drifting pesticides. People can experience short term health issues such as burning skin, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and difficulty breathing, and long term conditions including asthma, fatigue, depression, infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, some forms of cancer, increased chemical sensitivity, and neurological impairments. 


  1. REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY!!! We know it’s tough to deal with government bureaucracy sometimes, but reporting it will help us all by keeping track of the number of drift incidents in the state. Hopefully, it will also help you find a resolution to the problem you’re facing. Remember Toxic Taters is here to help. In Minnesota, reports should first be reported to the MN Poison Control System anytime by calling 1(800)222-1222 or online at  You can fill out a complaint online through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) at or call the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Reports can be made by telephone at 651-201- 6333 (8AM-4PM).  After hours, contact the Minnesota Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798.  On the White Earth Indian Reservation call the Pesticide Coordinator at 218-935-2488 ext. 2115. 
  2. Call a doctor immediately and report exposure. Ask to have your report put in your medical file. Ask what symptoms you should watch for and what medical remedies are available.
  3. If people were exposed to drift, put any clothing worn at the time of exposure into an airtight plastic bag and put the bag in the freezer. Provide this bag to the investigator.
  4. Document everything in writing. Include dates, times, and as much detail as you are able as soon as possible.
  5. For drift incidents in Minnesota, call Toxic Taters at 218-375-2600 for additional information and support.
  6. For drift incidents in Minnesota, call EPA Region 5 to report the incident 312-353-2000 or 1-800-621-8431


If you or your family experience pesticide drift, keep a record of everything you notice during and after the incident.

  1. Date, time and details of the incident, including weather (wind direction and speed/strength, precipitation at the time of drift and between drift incident and sampling, and temperature) and any odors in the air (like sweet, sulfur, skunk, other).
  2. Affected crops and other land — include photos
  3. Pesticide applicator name, contact information, prior notification, spray plane description, and FAA registration number
  4. Owner of the land intentionally sprayed and types of crops sprayed
  5. Who was affected; how they were exposed; symptoms; medical attention sought
  6. Chemical compounds involved, if known
  7. Organic certifier test results and notification information (if you are an organic grower)
  8. MN Department of Agriculture Investigation: dates, times, samples, test results, orders, investigation case file (after release)
  9. White Earth Natural Resources Investigation: dates, times, samples, test results, orders, investigation case file (after release)
  10. Potentially provable damages (value of crop ordered destroyed, documented loss of sales, loss of organic certification, response costs)
  11. All documents and correspondence, including email, related to the drift incident

*Note: Different records are needed to document health impacts, damage to conventional and organic crops. When in doubt, keep all your records and communications. 

Toxic Taters Brochure (PDF)


  • This tool is designed primarily to help healthcare providers recognize, manage and report pesticide-related illnesses. It can help identify a pesticide or class of pesticides that may be responsible for a pesticide-related illness. This resource also provides information for reporting a known or suspected pesticide poisoning. Find out more about data sources and search methodology.

Pesticide residues found in potatoes link

***All information can be found Pesticide Action Network’s website here***

1. Tests for any given food are often conducted in multiple years. In all cases WhatsOnMyFood shows only the most recent test year. The test results for Potatoes come from test year 2009.

2. All pesticide residue results on this page and elsewhere on the WhatsOnMyFood website were obtained by the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program (PDP)

3. Punzi, JS, Lamont, M, Haynes, D, Epstein, RL, USDA Pesticide Data Program: Pesticide Residues on Fresh and Processed Fruit and Vegetables, Grains, Meats, Milk, and Drinking Water, Outlooks on Pesticide Management, June, 2005. Available online

4. All toxicological data was either compiled for this site — typically from U.S. EPA reregistration eligibility decisions — or obtained from data compiled for the PesticideInfo website

5. Includes pesticides that are moderately acutely toxic, highly acutely toxic or chronically toxic to honeybees.

6. The percentage found is for all four of the following combinations combined: domestic or imported, and conventional or organic. To see data broken down into each of these combinations separately, click on “Conventional vs. Organic.”

7. A pesticide residue may not be listed as carcinogenic, neurotoxic, hormone-disrupting or as a reproductive or developmental toxicant for either of two reasons: (1) it may have been studied for toxicity in one or more of these categories and the weight of the evidence did not support designating it as toxic, or (2) it may not have been studied.LEARN MORE!*|END:WEB_VIDEO|* “Farm to Family Pesticide Free: Addressing McDonald’s Impacts on Our Families 2016” Webinar.*|END:WEB_VIDEO|*


Toxic Taters has been working since early 2015 to protect Hubbard, Becker, Wadena, and Cass counties from an RDO expansion that has been threatening thousands of acres of the pines with conversion into potato fields.  

In February of 2015 RDO was seeking 54 new well permits in the Pineland Sands Aquifer.  Thanks to citizen pressure one year later only one well has been approved and two additional permits are in process.

As of February 13th, 2016 we haven’t gotten the DNR to require that RDO do an environmental assessment, but we’ve effectively paused the expansion.  

Now, we are calling on RDO’s major buyer, McDonald’s to show their commitment against deforestation by telling RDO forests are worth more than fries.  

We will continue to work to protect the water, land, forests, and communities of the Pinelands Sands Aquifer from RDO Expansion.  

You can see our petition for an environmental assessment and the DNR’s decision by clicking on the links below.

Citizens EAW Petition

DNR EAW Decision 


The following position statement regarding GMO’s was adopted by the Toxic Taters Leadership Team on 9-28-15.

Toxic Taters does not support GMOs.  Research has linked GMOs with increased pesticide use. We recognize the increased use of pesticides along with other attributes of genetically modified organisms to harm the environment and human health, as well as cause negative impacts on the livelihoods of non-GMO and organic farmers.  We believe that the well-being of the earth and its inhabitants for generations to come must be prioritized over corporate profits.  This does not occur with GMOs and therefore we cannot support their use.

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USDA identifies some of the mysterious, unsolicited seeds after all 50 states issue warnings

N’dea Yancey-Bragg | USA TODAY | 19 hours ago 4-6 minutes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified 14 different kinds of seeds in the mysterious packages that appear to have been sent unsolicited from China to people around the country.

All 50 states have issued warnings about the packages some of which contain flowering plants like morning glory, hibiscus and roses, according to Osama El-Lissy, with the Plant Protection program of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. El-Lissy said other packages contain vegetables like cabbage and herbs including mint, sage, rosemary, and lavender. 

“This is a just a subset of the samples we’ve collected so far,” he said Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the USDA said the department is urging anyone who receives the packages not to plant them and to contact their state plant regulatory official and keep the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until they receive further instruction.

“At this time, we don’t have any evidence indicating this is something other than a ‘brushing scam’ where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales,” the statement said. “USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.”

Robin Pruisner, state seed control official at the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in Iowa, told Reuters she’s concerned the seeds may have been coated with something, possibly insecticide or fungicide, that could damage crops.

“I’ve had people describe to me that the seeds are coated with something purple. I haven’t had it in my hands yet, but it sounds an awful lot like a seed treatment,” she told the outlet.

Sid Miller, Texas agriculture commissioner warned the packages could contain harmful invasive species or be otherwise unsafe, according to a release. Invasive species are organisms not native to a certain region. The introduction of invasive species could cause the destruction of native crops, introduce diseases to native plants and could be dangerous to livestock.

“An invasive plant species might not sound threatening, but these small invaders could destroy Texas agriculture,” Miller said in the release. The Texas Department of Agriculture “has been working closely with USDA to analyze these unknown seeds so we can protect Texas residents.”

Some of the packages were labeled as jewelry and may have Chinese writing on them, according to agriculture officials.

Lori Culley, who lives in Tooele, Utah, told Fox 13 she was excited to find two small packages in her mailbox that appeared to contain earrings.

“I opened them up and they were seeds,” Culley said. “Obviously they’re not jewelry.”

Culley told the outlet she posted about the strange incident on Facebook, and “at least 40 people” reached out to her saying something similar happened to them.

Contributing: Alana Edgin, San Angelo Standard-Times

Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg View | 9 Photos

“FREE Mystery Seeds from China Sent to USA & WORLDWIDE by Mail to Homes WARNINGS USDA wants Packages”

North Carolina farmers start euthanizing 1.5 million chickens after meat plant coronavirus outbreaks

Associated Press 15-19 minutes

North Carolina farmers start euthanizing 1.5 million chickens after meat plant coronavirus outbreaks

thousands of gallons of milk being dumped on dairy farms across Wisconsin. Restaurants close. We lost 50% of Earth seals over farmers air, taking big steps in rice country to beat the Corona virus closer to having to make that gut wrenching decision to euthanize some of their hogs. This is economically devastating as well as emotionally devastating a lot of farmers. The reason why we wanted to tell this story to begin with was because the pork producing industry is a very big industry in in Nebraska this whole idea pork production that we have the United States today. So finally tuned that if there isn’t any like disruption, and there it backs up everything. And when port parking plant started to shut down, there was a backup of I think they were estimated 150,000 hogs and day couldn’t go to slaughter, so that creates quite a backup. Well, what happens to those pigs? Will These producers on these farms are not finding a market to take their talks to Some people are in dire straits. They have no place to go the animals, and they’ve got to use a nice either The full grown market animal where they got to use a nice the baby pigs coming in these armors. They’ve got to make a decision on whether to either slaughter the whole just euthanize. That’s a lot of money that they have invested in those things or to slaughter up there. Kind of like they’re little piglets. That’s their money. That’s their investment as it’s going up. So if they slaughter off piglets, then they will have a gap in their revenue source. So it’s a tough decision when you run out of room and you don’t have a place to put them. There’s an extreme frustration there that you could hear from these these farmers, as they’re conveying some of their stories about, you know, uh, their situation. There’s there’s this feeling like I hate This is what we do. This is our job is to feed the nation. We’ve got the supply here, but we can’t get it to those people that need it. We’ve probably got maybe 23 weeks tops before we have start making these tough decisions. Some of these guys have 405 100,000 hogs that they have to go to market right now, some people think we’re gonna shut it off. Well, that doesn’t work in the farming business. You can’t just turn to switch off. And because you’ve got these little piglets coming along, you know, eventually if you had more time, they could slow down their production. Absolutely. You know, and they’ve done that before. They can’t just turn this thing off and then continue to stay in business. Once things get better. Industry is the holes in dire straits. We need some type of about grants or loans or even indemnification payments. If you have Teoh euthanizing animals report in the street there, there, they’ve got plans. Case of this mass slaughter. Luckily, I talked to the Nebraska Pork Producers Association representative. They said, Luckily, many of packing plants have been able to get online or partially online. This other issue compounding on this is that a lot of these farmers, also our grain farmers as well We’ve had three years of bad prices and kind of our economic times for some of these farmers because we had bloods. Recently, we’ve had severe weather. We’ve had prices for grains that have gone down. It’s a very difficult situation, putting a lot of emotional stress on these producers as well, and you could just hear in their voices. You know that that they don’t want to be armor that loses their 50 100 year arm that goes underneath. But they’re worried that this might happen, you know, because they can’t rebound of it. The other thing they really are concerned about is having to waste, you know, to kill their life stock, you know, needlessly and go to waste, especially when they see empty grocery shelves, the high priced for pain, the food lines that you’re seeing, how much or even have to pay for our food in the future when all of this thing starts to break loose, because we’re going to have probably some shortages. That’s why this is such that it is really a huge issue for everybody out there, and people should be paying attention to it. They are dumping all of their milk every day now for the rest of the week. That’s £2400 producing about 1/4 £1,000,000 of milk every day. Ford down the drain. I think customers knew that they couldn’t find milk that they normally would in the stores. But I don’t think the customers knew that there was this storm brewing with dairy farmers, especially in Wisconsin, until we started reporting about it. We’ve never seen anything like this. They’re extremely stressed. A lot of people assumed correctly that it was because so many people were rushing to the stores buying all those products. They didn’t realize that there was actually a surplus of dairy products and that the farmers were actually dumping their milk. At Thes Wisconsin Dairy farms in Wisconsin, about 90% of the milk that’s produced on farms ends up on a truck and moves to a cheese plant they have seen with the closure of hundreds of thousands of restaurants in schools and universities and destinations. But food service market will feed people through those channels, is put on pause around the country. You know, Wisconsin as kind of like a cheese state. We have so much cheese here, and I think that’s where all of the milk comes into play. In the end, these farmers didn’t have all that time to wait. They just had to do something right then and there, and that was to dump the milk. It’s delicious nutritious milk. This would have been on a store shelf 24 hours from now. Um, but it’s not. It’s a heartbreaking thing for that farmer and for so many other dairy farmers, because that is just it’s it’s quality product that they worked really hard to produce, that they’re just throwing away. We’re putting all this work into it. All this pride all this time, and we’re just dumping it down. The Dream. Ryan L. B. From Golden E Dairy Farm in West Bend, Wisconsin He says that they, at the start of the month started shipping the milk out again, and at this point, they’re not dumping any more Milk Hunger Task Force and its donors to the rescue. The organization is now committing $1 million for its new Wisconsin dairy recovery program. So far, everything’s being shipped, so I’m sure he’s pretty thankful for that. It was a win win win for everybody. It’s a win for the farmers when they finally get paid for their milk. It’s a win for the producer who is battling the milk and putting people to work as well as just six people who are driving around, and it’s a win for hungry people, There is a lot less going into food service in restaurants. I’m in touch with a lot of different industries here, one of them being the rights commission. California Rights Commission represents hundreds of growers across the state, and they had mentioned that their farmers were doing something that was kind of different and unique and using techniques that ahead of the curve and used social distancing out in the field naturally, if you will. Once you get inside the tractor for disinfectant, start with steering wheel on the tractor, all the facets of the tractor from the steps that get into the into the cab, the whole wheel, all of the parts and components of the tractor. They took a lot of time rigorous minutes to wipe those things down. In addition, they do a social distancing thing where only one farmer is assigned to one tractor going from field to field. Or if somebody doesn’t show up that day. But now you know it’s looking like this is gonna be the new normal. Farmers are feeling very much integral part of the economy and of the American economic fabric farmers, farm labourers, their essential it’s tryingto keep everybody safe and healthy so we can keep them employed. Number one as an essential business and number two get our rice crop planted. But what’s interesting also is that their market has diminished dramatically because a lot of their rice goes to sushi restaurants in California and elsewhere. And because a lot of those restaurants have been closed down, they don’t have a marketplace for back. The other part of it is that if they supply rice for schools, schools have been closed down as well, so it made a very big dent on their economic bottom line. California rice contributes more than $5 billion to our economy each year and 25,000 jobs. We also are home to millions of birds, and the environmental benefits are valued well into the billions of dollars as well. So they’re hoping that in September will be able to harvest. They’re banking on the fact that by that time things will loosen up a little bit. Things will, you know when they harvest, be able to actually go to market in a much more diverse and widespread geographic area by September, a lot different than they do now way see the end product when it comes home and we’re eating it and enjoying it. You don’t always think about how it got there. Seeing how it’s made, how it’s drone and how it’s harvested is always sort of an eye opener for me and the dedication and the love of the land that people have there. It’s just a lot to milk goats in the morning and make products somewhere in between milk goats at night and then some point during the day. Pack like 15 orders to go out. The dairy industry is huge in Vermont. That’s one of the things that were known for besides maple syrup. Their entire production line changed in the matter of 24 hours. Once stay at home, order started really setting in, and restaurants started really closing down. Their day to day operations look very, very different now. They were of work. We’ve been selling over our website for probably 10 to 15 years. Blue Ledge Farm has been around for more than 20 years. They have an established website, but the online orders were dead or something that they ever focused on. It was never focused, not just because they didn’t want to, but because there wasn’t really need, for there are only getting a couple orders the week or a couple hours a month. And so they were mostly distributing to restaurants in the area. She really is relying on these online sales to get them through this time of not being so busy on their distribution end. She was recruiting help from her teenage kids while they were out of school, so they would you know you some homework throughout the day. But they would be helping her package the cheese up sis actions, finishing up her high school career. He loves tracking him like a little present. Dame goes for Ice House. They are shipping out a ton way more sales, and they thought they would have. And now that farmers markets are open in a limited capacity, I think they’re starting to balance out the in person sales versus online sales. But I think they’re still is definitely a focus on the online sales. For both of them, he’s been sitting. They are still a small scale farm they’re still trying to develop, but this really pushed them. Maybe two years into the future, But they also have to think about how can I ship this and packaging all of those different orders. Up throughout the day, one of the farmers was saying that she had gotten maybe one or two online orders a week before this, or maybe even a month before this on it all of a sudden was 40 to 50 orders, and that’s a huge production change for them. It’s more like the squeaky wheel gets the grease kind. Uh, once I was just squeaking about enough. It’s been good to force us into some things that we wanted to do, but we’re low on the totem pole. So as difficult as this time is for a lot of these farms. And like I said, the amount of work that they’re taking on is incredible. You know, they’re also trying to find a silver lining, a swell of saying, Hey, we never got to focus on our website before he had a plan to do this maybe a couple years down the line. But we can do this right now, Blue allege, actually has its own farm stand. I mentioned in the story and they said that they’ve been getting a lot of business from there as well, where people could just drive up. And it’s an honor system where you can pick up whatever you want from their stand and you just put money in a bucket or an envelope or something, and then you can leave. So it’s a no contact business similar to online, where you’re not in contact with anybody. But that one, at least isn’t person. And so it was a really nice reminder for her of why she got into the business to begin with. And she thinks that will change the future of their business. She thinks their business will steer more locally instead of the big distribution like they were originally thinking about. We kind of had lost touch with that a little bit that direct consumer relationship, and it’s been really nice to be reminded of that

North Carolina farmers start euthanizing 1.5 million chickens after meat plant coronavirus outbreaks

Video above: Farming in turmoil due to coronavirusCoronavirus outbreaks at meat processing plants are forcing North Carolina farmers to euthanize 1.5 million chickens, according to a state official.Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Joe Reardon told The News & Observer that this is the first time during the pandemic that North Carolina farmers have had to euthanize their animals. Roughly a third of the 1.5 million chickens already had been killed, Reardon said.Agriculture officials said Thursday that 2,006 workers in 26 processing plants across the state have tested positive for coronavirus. Workers and their advocates said the meat industry was slow to provide protective equipment and take other coronavirus-related safety measures.Chicken and hog farmers in other states also have been euthanizing millions of animals during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, for example, the Baltimore Sun reported that coronavirus-related staffing shortages at chicken processing plants will lead farms in Maryland and Delaware to destroy nearly 2 million chickens.North Carolina hog farmers have not taken steps to euthanize their animals, Reardon said.


Video above: Farming in turmoil due to coronavirus

Coronavirus outbreaks at meat processing plants are forcing North Carolina farmers to euthanize 1.5 million chickens, according to a state official.

Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Joe Reardon told The News & Observer that this is the first time during the pandemic that North Carolina farmers have had to euthanize their animals. Roughly a third of the 1.5 million chickens already had been killed, Reardon said.

Agriculture officials said Thursday that 2,006 workers in 26 processing plants across the state have tested positive for coronavirus. Workers and their advocates said the meat industry was slow to provide protective equipment and take other coronavirus-related safety measures.

Chicken and hog farmers in other states also have been euthanizing millions of animals during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, for example, the Baltimore Sun reported that coronavirus-related staffing shortages at chicken processing plants will lead farms in Maryland and Delaware to destroy nearly 2 million chickens.

North Carolina hog farmers have not taken steps to euthanize their animals, Reardon said.

Save Doomsday Vault Seeds From Environmental Destruction

Climate change could soon claim Earth’s largest supply of life-saving seeds. Ask world leaders to protect the doomsday seed vault that insures against a global catastrophe.

Source: Save Doomsday Vault Seeds From Environmental Destruction

Petition: Save the Gangsta Garden from Eviction: Support Ron Finley’s Food Revolution!

Photo of the Day: Plant Food, Not Corn; Eat Plants, Not Meat!

The Paw Report

CornThe above graphic was taken from a recently published article, “A hard look at corn economics — and world hunger.” As you can see, corn is not a “foodstuff,” but “industrial material.” And the majority of the crop becomes animal feed.

In a world where 842 million people are malnourished, should we really be using our limited land space and depleting resources (like water) on raising and feeding livestock? Consider:

“Take corn, and add in other giant crops that basically just feed animals—crops like soybeans, barley, hay, sorghum—and two-thirds of U.S. farmland goes to animal feed. […] The trick would be convincing the country—and other countries that import animal feed from the U.S.—to go vegan. […] Would it be enough to feed the 10 billion people the United Nations projects as global population by 2100? ‘We would have more land available for the 10 billion than…

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Can Organic Agriculture Really Reverse Climate Change?

Emilio Cogliani


by guest blogger “Coach” Mark Smallwood, Rodale Institute executive director

Over the past 14 days, I have been on a walk–a walk that, I hope, will change the way that we look at climate change.

Each day I walk 10 miles on a journey from the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, to Washington, DC. Along the way, I have had the honor of meeting with farmers, local public officials, community members, students, and activists. Every person I meet has been affected by the impacts of climate change, from the disastrous hailstorm that occurred in Reading, PA, in May to the local fisherman concerned that atrazine was found in spawning beds of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River. Climate change affects us all, and the impacts and destruction caused by catastrophic weather events are more noticeable with each passing year.


Along the way, I continue to tell people that climate…

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Serious about saving the bees? Time to rethink agriculture

Serious about saving the bees? Time to rethink agriculture.

Tell Swiss Zoo To Stop Selling Meat From Its Own Animals

10 things that would fix the food system faster than GMO-labeling

10 things that would fix the food system faster than GMO-labeling.

Goats better than herbicides, new study

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video is called common reed (Phragmites australis).

From Duke University in the USA:

Goats better than chemicals for curbing invasive marsh grass

18 hours ago

Herbivores, not herbicides, may be the most effective way to combat the spread of one of the most invasive plants now threatening East Coast salt marshes, a new Duke University-led study finds.

Phragmites australis, or the common reed, is a rapid colonizer that has overrun many coastal wetlands from New England to the Southeast. A non-native perennial, it can form dense stands of grass up to 10 feet high that block valuable shoreline views of the water, kill off native grasses, and alter marsh function.

Land managers traditionally have used chemical herbicides to slow phragmites’ spread but with only limited and temporary success.

Now, field experiments by researchers at Duke and six other U.S. and European universities have identified a more sustainable…

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Colorado farming, ranching water ‘in the crosshairs’ as big reservoirs dwindle

Summit County Citizens Voice

Water experts to discuss role of agriculture in Colorado River puzzle

h Can ag water save the Colorado River?

Staff Report

FRISCO — A new $11 million effort to keep water flowing in the Colorado River to Lake Powell could up the pressure on Colorado farmers and ranchers to sell or lease their water.

In fact, agriculture is in the crosshairs in Colorado, according to the Colorado River Water Conservation District, which represents western Colorado water interests. Low water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead — the key storage buckets on the Colorado — have prompted measures to put more water in the river.

The CRWCD’s annual water seminar (Sept. 19, Grand Junction) will focus on what that means for western Colorado, with panel discussions and presentations on ag efficiency, the worth of ag efficiency and how ag efficiency works with the chief goal of sustaining ag as a…

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